Over 130 human skulls, thought to be the remains of human sacrifices, have been discovered in a remote Mexican field, far from known ritual centres. Dated to c.AD 660-869, they were found during excavations led by Christopher Morehart of Georgia State University, who was investigating ancient agricultural practices near Lake Xaltocan. The skulls, all adult [...]
Tenochtitlan José Luis de Rojas University Press of Florida ISBN 978-0-8130-4220-6 Besides Ancient Egypt, no civilisation has been examined and scrutinised more than the Aztecs. Human Sacrifice, vicious and bloody wars, magnificent architecture and a spectacular downfall have brought the Aztec empire eternal fame. In this informative and stimulating book, José Luis de Rojas brings [...]
Archaeologists in Guatemala believe they may have uncovered the tomb of the 7th-century warrior queen K’abel, one of the great female rulers of Classic Maya civilisation. The burial was discovered during excavations by a team from Washington University in St Louis investigating the Maya city of El Perú-Waka, about 75km (47 miles) from Tikal. Interred [...]
The collapse of Classic Maya civilisation was brought about by war and social unrest driven by climate change, newly published research suggests. An international team of scientists have analysed stalagmites in Yok Balum cave, Belize, to reconstruct a precisely dated record of rainfall in the Classic Maya region, dating back 2,000 years. This was compared [...]
Archaeologists have discovered 50 human skulls and over 250 jawbones dating back over 500 years near a sacrificial stone at the main Aztec temple in Mexico City. Located within the sacred precinct of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital, the remains represent the largest number of skulls found in a single deposit at Templo Mayor. Forty-five [...]
Excavations in Guatemala may have uncovered the tomb of K’abel, a 7th century warrior queen and one of the great female rulers of Classic Maya civilisation, it was announced today (4 October). The burial was discovered by archaeologists from Washington University in St Louis during investigations at the Maya city of El Perú-Waka, about 75km from Tikal. [...]
The mighty temple of a little known Maya Kingdom, and the undisturbed tomb of its first ruler.
Construction work in the ruins of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City has uncovered a unique burial at the foot of the Aztec capital’s main temple: the skeleton of a young woman, surrounded by a jumble of almost 2,000 human bones. Lying beneath a slab floor associated with the fifth phase of building at Templo Mayor (AD [...]
Archaeological sites that take years to record using traditional methods could be mapped in minutes, according to new research by Vanderbilt University. At Mawchu Llacta, a 16th-century colonial town in Peru, scientists are testing a remote-controlled flying device called SUAVe (Semi-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), which is small enough to fit in a backpack and takes [...]
In a rather more earthbound initiative, Google Maps staff in Mexico have pedalled tricycles mounted with cameras around 30 pre-Hispanic sites to create 360˚ photo tours of famous monuments including Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, and Palenque. Recorded with the cooperation of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the sites can be visited virtually through [...]
The enormous wealth generated by the tourist industry is placing increasing demands on our cultural heritage. Richard Hodges chats with Ricardo Agurcia, director of excavations at the ancient Maya site in Honduras, where one of the world’s poorest countries is successfully balancing archaeology with tourism.
By Melissa A Vogel University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037967 This is the first English-language work on the Casma, a pre-Inca culture that has received little academic attention to-date – something that Melissa Vogel sets out to redress. Focusing on the northernmost part of the polity, Vogel discusses a pivotal period, AD 900-1300, [...]
The discovery of an intact Moche royal tomb was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. A gang of impoverished local looters entered one of three pyramids at Huaca Rajada, Sipan, a major Moche site near the Peruvian coast.
Why were the bodies of a dozen newborn babies placed around the edge of a 1,000-year-old tomb?
Archaeologists studying 31 obsidian knives from Cantona, a pre-Hispanic site in Mexico, have discovered minute traces of 2,000-year-old human blood, skin, and hair on the blades – the first direct evidence of such tools being used for human sacrifice. Previously researchers had relied on cut marks on the bones of presumed victims to reconstruct how [...]
Tiffiny A. Tung University Press of Florida, £64.50 ISBN 978-0813037677 Between AD 600-1000, the Wari Empire represented one of the first politically centralised states in the New World. This study reveals the biological and social impact of the military aggression on which this power was founded, with groundbreaking DNA and osteological data shedding light on [...]
The discovery of a 13th-century priestess at a ritual site in northern Peru is forcing a reassessment of the role of women in Lambayeque culture. The 25- to 30-year-old woman was buried at Chotuna-Chornancap, adorned with elaborate jewellery, ceramic offerings, and gold and silver ritual objects proclaiming her elite status. ‘This has revolutionised our thinking,’ [...]
The lost city of a lost civilisation – yet today it is one of the most important Pre-Hispanic sites in South America.
The oldest corncobs unearthed in South America have been found in Peru. Dating to 6,700 years ago – at least 2,000 years older than previous finds of cobs – they were eaten by people who were yet to enjoy the convenience of ceramic pottery. According to a report in The Proceedings of the National Academy [...]
We know, from hieroglyphic references and illustrations, that the ancient Maya and their gods enjoyed a smoke. But physical evidence is rare. Now residue from a 1,300-year-old pot has provided the first traces of tobacco to be found in a Mayan container. The small clay vessel comes from the Mirador Basin in Southern Campeche, Mexico, [...]